Friendly Fridays: Keeping Home Bobcat-Free

If we want to coexist with wildlife on this planet, we’re going to have to take responsibility as the more capable species and do our part to make Earth inhabitable for all of its species. When it comes to our wild Nevadan neighbors, this normally means discouraging animals from being drawn to urban areas and habituating to humans.

Bobcats are one of the shyest of our 4 highlighted neighbors, but they are common in some areas and are distributed across a variety of habitats. Their presence threatens and scares some people, which is valid; bobcats have been known to prey upon domestic animals like chickens and small dogs, though this is rare. Killing a bobcat in retribution once it has killed someone’s animal doesn’t solve the problem at its root, though, which is unfortunate as lethal methods continue to be employed to remove bobcats.

You can help keep bobcats alive by making your home less attractive to them. If you have a yard, trim back vegetation that might provide cover, avoid feeding animals that may attract bobcats (like squirrels and birds), keep pet food and feed your pets inside, and keep your more vulnerable domestic animals like cats, small dogs, and chickens inside or securely locked in an enclosure from dusk to dawn.

Live traps and predator lights can also help deter bobcats if the situation escalates. We have to be careful living in a world with wild animals, and it’s up to us to use our superior intellect and find ways to mitigate conflict ourselves. Continuing to kill bobcats won’t solve the long-term problem, so the sooner we come together as communities and act bobcat-friendly, we’ll all have a chance at peacefully coexisting as Nevadan neighbors!

Aaron Huelsman

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